Senior journalist, editor, and activist Gauri Lankesh was found dead with four bullets wound on her head and chest at the doorstep of her Bengaluru residence on 5 September 2017. Preliminary investigation revealed that unidentified assailants had fired seven bullets and four hit her. Lankesh was the Editor of the Gauri Lankesh Patrike and would often write against Sangh organisations and communal violence in India. It's worth pointing out that Lankesh was convicted in two cases of criminal defamation filed against a story her magazine published in 2008. Her death throws focus on the perils of being a journalist in the country
Dharmendra Singh: Three bike-borne assailants killed the Dainik Bhaskar reporter in November 2016 in Bihar, after his frequent reporting on local stone chips mafia. Singh was shot dead while he was standing at a roadside tea stall during his morning walk. He received several threats for reporting against the local mafia. Within a month after the incident, two people were arrested in connection
Tarun Mishra: The Bureau chief of the Jan Sandesh Times – a Hindi newspaper in Sultanpur, was shot dead in broad daylight on February 13, 2016. Mishra along with his uncle was driving to Sultanpur in a car when two gunmen on a motorcycle stopped the car and shot Mishra. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival. Uttar Pradesh Journalist Union alleged that Mishra was killed for writing against illegal activities in Uttar Pradesh. The then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had ordered an inquiry and announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to his family
Rajdev Ranjan: 42-year-old Rajdev Ranjan, the Bureau Chief of Dainik Hindustan, was shot dead in May 2016 while he was returning home from the office on his motorbike in Siwan in Bihar. Two bullets were fired at him, one hit his head and the other on the neck. At least four times, Ranjan had reported against former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin, who was serving a life imprisonment in connection with the murder of two brothers. The CBI had filed a charge sheet against Shahabuddin and six other on August 22, 2017, in connection with the murder case
Hemant Yadav: In October 2015, some bike-borne assailants killed Hemant Yadav, who was a reporter of a local news channel in Uttar Pradesh. Yadav was socially active and used to report on local issues in Chandauli district
Sandeep Kothari: The man who was working as a freelance crime journalist for Nai Duniya, was abducted, strangled and was burnt alive on June 20, 2015. His body was recovered on a railroad track in Nagpur. Following the incident, Police rounded up three youth who later confessed to the crime. Kothari had reported on illegal mining and land grabbing in Nagpur, due to which he received several death threats. He had also informed police about the several threats but all in vain
MVN Shankar: The senior journalist for Andhra Prabha, a Telugu language daily, was killed by unidentified assailants with iron rods on November 25, 2014. Days before he was attacked he reported about the kerosene oil mafia in Guntur
Jagendra Singh: The freelance journalist in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur was burnt alive by cops and goons at his residence on June 1, 2015. Singh ran a Facebook page named ‘Shahjahanpur Samachar’, where he wrote extensively about UP Minister Ram Murti Verma regarding corruption. Singh also alleged that Verma had gang-raped an Anganwadi worker. Following Singh’s death, Verma was booked for murder, criminal intimidation, and criminal conspiracy
Akshay Singh: The investigative journalist at Aaj Tak channel, died under mysterious circumstances while investigating the unnatural deaths in the Vyapam scam in 2015 in Madhya Pradesh. The 36-year-old journalist died shortly following his interview with the parents of a girl who was found dead after her name figured in the scam
Tarun Kumar Acharya: The stringer for a local Oriya-language TV channel, was killed on May 27, 2014, in Odisha while he was on his way to home in Ganjam district. The 29-year-old journalist was attacked by few assailants who slit his throat and left him to die. Acharya was killed due to his report of child labour in a cashew processing factory. The police later arrested the mastermind, Prusty, owner of the cashew-nut processing factory
Indradev Yadav: The TV journalist, also known as Akhilesh Pratap Yadav, was killed near his home in May 2016 in Jharkhand. As per reports, Yadav was shot dead while he was on his motorcycle in Chatra district of the state thus creating a murder mystery. After the investigation, Chatra Police revealed that the Maoists splinter group Tritiya-Sammelan Prastuti Committee (TPC) had demanded Rs 7 lakh from the journalist as levy when he didn't agree to pay them, he was killed. Following his demise, the Jharkhand CM declared a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to Yadav’s family. Earlier, Yadav had worked as a local correspondent for Kolkata-based Hindi news channel Taaza TV.
In India, 'Press' is considered to be the fourth estate of democracy. However, ironically, India ranks as the third unsafe country for journalist followed by Syria and Iraq. The profession neither offers good remuneration nor any safety. Several journalists' deaths made headlines. In several cases, people behind the crime roam freely. These are some of the journalists who were assassinated for their fearless reporting. Here's a look
DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.